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Everything posted by Yoozer

  1. You don't have to cut up, even. Just record 4 channels of say, 1 minute of playing, and use automation on the volume. Like this: sounds like this: http://www.theheartcore.com/patch/mad_automation.mp3
  2. Wrong question What are you willing to spend, and what plugins do you want to run? Something like Omnisphere is pretty demanding, Synth1 doesn't require much.
  3. Thinking that one device will (or is supposed to) solve everything. There's a reason they talk about an "effects chain" - it means that there are multiple parts working together to achieving a certain sound or effect. Thinking that having 2 (or worse, more) DAWs next to eachother will enable them to make music that's twice as good (this does not count if you rewire Reason into another DAW unless you're still clueless in both pieces of software). Thinking that switching from one sequencer (that hosts plugins of a sort) to another (that also hosts plugins of a sort) is going to make everything sound more professional. Thinking that having 200 free plugins installed is a good thing. Use your DAW's own effects; focus on learning a few decent plugins - and you know what to do with the others. More importantly, you've learned to appreciate what you can and cannot do with what you have, and any other compressor or EQ is not going to sound a zillion times more awesome than the built-in one if you still don't know how to use it. Turn down the volume of each channel. Seriously, throwing a multiband compressor on the master does not solve the problem of having every channel in the red. If you ever asked yourself why you can't get your drums loud: IF EVERYTHING ELSE IS LOUD TOO, NOTHING IS. Kind of like WRITING EVERYTHING IN CAPS - NOTHING STICKS OUT ANYMORE. Don't pick up one-liners as god-given advice because Famous Dude on Some Message Board said Something That Sounded Neat. One-liners like "cut, don't boost" have 3-4 pages of explanation behind 'm. It doesn't mean you shouldn't do it. It doesn't mean you should do it. It means that you have to understand why this is said and why it works as a guideline so you get the full worth out of the quote. If you slavishly follow it, you're not thinking for yourself. Don't go fishing for one-liners. Asking for "tricks" is like asking for the outcome of each combination of "a + b = c" in math class. Just learn what addition means; the outcome of a single sum is meaningless.
  4. Or all the "Free" threads here on this very forum?
  5. I think you mean FM8 but yeah, it looks like EFM1 is a 2-operator FM synth, so those'll handle that. DiscoDSP Phantom will do it too.
  6. Numerology: http://www.five12.com/n2.html Trackers: (sequencers but vertical) http://www.renoise.com/ Ableton Live's Session mode is pretty unique, too.
  7. Post. Get critique. Your music should be punched and pinched and people should kick against its tires and then it should still stand or get improved. All these questions are like those of a painter, asking "When should I use red? Am I using enough red?" EQ is a tool. EQ is also a flavor - if music was cooking you could use it to spice things up or to mellow stuff down. The same goes for compression; in "tool" mode you'd use it to avoid grasping for the volume slider as fast as possible, in "flavor" mode you'd use it for sidechaining, for instance. The thing is that there's no pre-set guide to make choices like that. There are stylistic choices that already exist for a whole load of music genres and you can choose to adhere to them or not, because there are no rules; there are just useful guidelines. Thing is, these one-liners like "do x" don't tell the rest of the story - all those choices are based on experience and listening and trying to solve problems (tool mode) or trying to stand out (flavor mode). Get to the point first where you can feel with reasonable confidence that you can solve problems. That means that you can let instruments coexist instead of having them get in eachother's way. So you add a breakbeat and a bass guitar, and for some reason your meter is already in the red and those are just two tracks - and if you turn the volume of each down you don't hear anything useful anymore! That kind of stuff falls under the "problem" header so then you should use tool mode. If it sounds good, it is good - but that's usually said assuming that you've got monitoring of sufficient quality - you should be able to trust that the music you hear doesn't sound all messed up on everyone else's car stereo/music player thingy. Reverb is the illusion of space - how much space do you need? Nobody lives in an anechoic room, but listening to music on closed headphones can get close (since you're not hearing any natural reverb). Reverb muddies things but also gives a sense of dimension. If you want to emulate music with real instruments - well, the bass player's usually not at the end of a 50-meter long hallway or at the bottom of a well while the singer's at 2 inches of your ear, so that's how you gauge the what and how of reverb. In flavor mode, you'd turn it all the way up with a ridiculously long decay so you might get an ethereal effect - but that constrains your kind of source material, too. Just an example. I don't think you have to use it all the time; you should be able to save settings like that, but I don't know anything about FL.
  8. You can zap through the thousands of presets and never touch what makes it tick, so "comfortable" doesn't even come into play - as long as you know how to pick an item from a list you're OK, and you can even look up "traditional" sounding sounds by using the Kore browser.
  9. Lite Edition - e.g. a stripped version of the software. This means you usually don't get (all) the included instruments of the full version, and there may be limits to the number of tracks you can add in a project. Sometimes you can buy this version (for instance Ableton Live Intro), in other cases you get it for free when you buy a controller or audio interface. I got Cubase AI (their name of the "LE" version) for free when I bought a Yamaha mixer, I got Ableton Live Lite (now called Intro) for free when I bought a controller keyboard, so since you're going to need something like that anyway, it's probably a good idea to check out what's included with it, since those applications are already pretty powerful. Plus, you usually get a discount when you want to upgrade to a "full" version. As said, this is irrelevant. What people mean with "loops" is that you have a 2 or 4-bar fragment of music that you can put in the song somewhere. Virtually all software for audio can deal with this concept; however, in the case of FL Studio it's a big part of the workflow. For instance, I could sample a piece of dance music. It would sound like this: http://www.theheartcore.com/patch/909_120_full.mp3 However, if I wanted something like this without the kick drum, I'd have a problem. The kickdrum is "baked into" the sample. If I want a different sounding kick drum, I also have a problem - it's like un-baking a cake (yes, there are a variety of tricks that I could use for this but they depend on what's in that loop, and that's advanced material). The alternative is that I put each instrument in its own separate loop. http://www.theheartcore.com/patch/909_120_kick.mp3 http://www.theheartcore.com/patch/909_120_clap.mp3 http://www.theheartcore.com/patch/909_120_hats.mp3 But that's no good if I want to have it at 140 bpm instead of 120. Before the advent of timestretching, it would've sounded like this. http://www.theheartcore.com/patch/909_140_pitch.mp3 You hear the obvious difference. (Even with timestretching it may mess up the drums so the kick doesn't sound so punchy anymore; again, there are various tricks to get around this but they all depend on what's in that loop, and what works great on drums may be disastrous on vocals.) So, what's the real solution? Ideally, you have every instrument played separately - so those 4 kicks in a row are 4 separate kicks, the claps are 2 separate claps - because when you want to speed up or slow down in that case, it'll still sound "right". Enter FL Studio; you have 16 steps. On step 1, 5, 9 and 13 you put a kick, on 5 and 13 you put claps, and on every step you put a closed hihat except for 3, 7, 11 and 15 - you put an open hihat there. If you slow it down, it'll sound good; if you speed it up, it'll sound good, and the best part is that you can still treat those groups of steps as a single block of samples. You call this collection of these 4 instruments and the steps a "pattern", and you simply copy the pattern, name it something different, and remove the kick steps. Or add a snare step, whatever you want. Put 8 of those patterns in a row and do a snare roll on the 8th pattern, and you already have a piece of dance music done. The best part? If you want to change the kick, you only have to change it with the patterns that are actually different; so if you have 8 of those patterns but only 2 unique ones, you only have to change the sounds 2 times - for each unique pattern once. Patterns simply mean that instead of having to put in every identical sequence of notes separately you use the similarity between those sequences to work faster. It doesn't mean however that any sequencer is suited better towards any kind of music, though; all it means is that you can work -faster- for certain types of music (not better). Virtually all software - if all you use are software instruments - has some kind of parity; what makes the difference is the workflow. I prefer that one of Live, and you can ask a dozen remixers here and get a dozen different answers. I started with Cubase. Why? It happened to be something a friend of mine used so he could quickly teach me the basics, and then I could find out the rest for myself. In a lot of cases it's something like that - you have someone else who can show you the ropes because they already have experience with the software. What matters however is not the software - it's the concept behind it. If you learn how to use a mixer (any mixer) then the difference between one equalizer and the other becomes a matter of taste, no matter if one's on the screen and the other is somethin you can actually touch. What they theoretically do (boost or cut frequency ranges) is the same for any of 'm.
  10. Massive is pretty much my to-go synth, yes. Incredibly versatile, brilliant modulation system that is pretty much the gold standard for any other VST out there, incredibly deep. Haha, what?
  11. Some pedantry: subtractive simply means that you start with harmonically rich waveforms and then chop away (most of the time by using a filter) everything you don't want. Yes, it's a wavetable synthesizer - but that does not mean that it's not subtractive, too. Synth1 is a good alternative but does not have the digital waveforms Subtractor has, and it lacks some modulation routings.
  12. Then go hunt down the free plugins (Kore Player, Proteus X, Yellowtools, etc.), but really, with that you should already have enough power. This is a good idea. There's only one of those left, which is a Korg Microsampler. It's not terribly useful if you already have a software sampler and don't exactly know what to do with that (hey, you started this topic). Forget terms like "downloading", though - you put your sounds on a flash memory card, or floppy, or you transfer 'm via SCSI. The few that have USB options simply make your computer think it's a card reader. "Studio" hardware samplers died with a whimper around 2000. The rack versions are replaced by software samplers; keyboard versions were never plentiful. When you see an Akai MPC - that's a phrase sampler, which works by the philosophy of putting one sound (usually percussion) on one pad. The method of programming of these is simply not suited towards realistic instruments. Since you aren't specific about your budget I can't be specific about advice; however, M-Audio has cheap soundcards and controller keyboards. Do you have a laptop or a desktop? This matters for your soundcard.
  13. No, that's the wrong question. How many inputs do you need? How many outputs do you need? Laptop (USB, Firewire, PCMCIA) or desktop (USB, Firewire, PCI(x))? What's your budget? Answer those first
  14. Thanks for the heads up! I've been eyeing Emotional Piano for a while now, and I'd love to get my paws on some of the other stuff. TH are awesome.
  15. There's nothing bad if you keep all sources inside of your computer. The problem with cheap soundcards are: - lack of dedicated drivers means latency, so yeah, the lagginess would be solved, but then again, try ASIO4ALL - the inputs (A/D conversion) are generally of a lower quality - the outputs (D/A conversion) are generally of a lower quality - the inputs and ouptuts both don't come in industry-standard sizes (stereo mini jack is not industry standard) - there aren't enough of 'm (with a bit of luck you get 6 outputs for surround and perhaps an S/PDIF one - and only 2 inputs, one of which is pretty useless - on-board cards may suffer from electrical interference from your computer's insides, while outboard can be (somewhat) isolated from that - insufficient support of higher sampling rates The first may be solved by ASIO4ALL, all the last ones won't.
  16. Yamaha TX81z is one of the cheapest ways to get a good chunk of the Genesis sounds. 8 voices, 8 parts multitimbral, hook up an old Atari to edit it and you're good to go. http://www.discodsp.com/phantom/ is another option if you want to keep it in the box.
  17. Yes. Consider why that is so. A guitar has a range. About 44 notes and then it stops. Violins also begin and stop somewhere in terms of pitch. If the instruments don't get in eachother's ways during playing because they occupy different niches in the frequency range melodies can be heard without clutter. Arcana's pretty much spot on with the mimicking of real-life instruments; the difference is in polyphony. For wind instruments you have an ensemble playing single notes each, which gives you usually far more creative ways to construct chords (and have each note sound different). On a synth you have exact duplicates of everything. The same ideas about call/response and contrast (a single trumpet vs. softly playing background brass or strings) are applicable in electronic music; it's just that there's no limit to the range of an instrument because you don't have physical constraints. For melodic music I've just found it the most effective to simply start with a piano sound. If the melody, chord progressions or rhythm doesn't work with just a piano, chances are that it's not going to work with synths either. Sound has three properties: volume, pitch and timbre, the last being a complex mish-mash of pretty much everything that concerns filters, oscillators, audio-rate modulation and all that. With volume there's not much choice - it takes either zero time to climb to full volume or a timespan of arbitrary length, and the same thing for it to go to silence again. By triggering repeatedly you denote rhythm and structure with the sound. With real instruments you put constraints on the timbre; a saxophone can't imitate a guitar. While synthesizers can't imitate saxophones perfectly either, they do a better job of imitating the guitar than the saxophone does. But if you go back in musical history, another important part is that you want to use musical allegories. In the instruments mimic a tableau; the xylophone is used for the skeleton's rattling bones.With synthesizers you have the same thing - it's just that you don't necessarily need a dozen instruments, plus the whole symbolism is kind of taken out of it. Still, the cadence of snare drum rolls in trance (or nowadays, white noise) is to lead to a climax of sorts - a rollercoaster going up, and then dropping down in free fall again, for instance. Anyway - the only drawback is that not every sound on a synth has the exact (well-known and loved) frequency range of real instruments; it usually goes outside of those bounds in terms of frequency content. This means that EQ advice for guitars (boost X to achieve Y, cut Z to achieve W) isn't useful for synth sounds; you'll have to find out those for yourself.
  18. Wavetable is really not different except that you substitute basic waveforms with morphable digital waveforms. PWM on a regular subtractive is available for every wave in a wavetable synth. FM, now, that's another kettle of fish; but as you can see in the thread someone linked "The Tao Of FM" which should get you going with the basics. Start with only 2 operators; lots of sonic space to explore already. Also, don't hesitate to have a reverb/delay hooked up by default (but switched off in most cases). Sometimes a simple square blip gets really nice if you add a long, lush reverb. The philosophy is different as such that with regular instruments, you only have that and nothing more. Any special effects have to achieved by using only that instrument. On the other hand, you'll get way more expressiveness, while achieving the same with synths requires several pedals to be hooked up.
  19. http://www.gearslutz.com/board/electronic-music-instruments-electronic-music-production/405559-synthesis-tips-tutorials-how-create-your-own-patches.html No, "just tweak knobs" is indeed shitty advice. Put a method to the madness. Start with an init patch - that's usually a single sawtooth or square wave with the filter disabled. Just start auditioning different combinations of oscillator 1 and 2 - one set to pulse, the other to saw, then with different tunings (1 octave up, 5th up, third up, octave + fifth up) and all combinations of waveshapes. Then oscillator sync; what happens when you sync, what happens when you change the tuning? When you've got those combinations learned by heart, filters are the easy part; lowpass emulates the loss of energy during vibration, envelope controls the speed of that; highpass and bandpass make the sound chitter (and they're usually not that useful, but nice to have - especially if you can layer the sounds). As for learning other forms, check the thread I've linked to. I've learned what I know on a Juno-60. Each slider does exactly one thing. Sliders and knobs are there for a reason; if one appears to not react to anything it's due to another setting it's dependent on. The advantage of learning it like that was that my 12-year old self didn't have a clue what "cutoff" actually did in electronic terms, but I sure learned what the slider did; I simply memorized its effect. Dedicated control surfaces like that help immensely; but arguably nowadays you're far better off. More choice in everything for far less money.
  20. If you can't fix it with the one in the DAW you can't fix it with another one either; though a good parametric EQ with a good interface beats having 3 miniscule sliders.
  21. MIDI controllers live quite long, so investing in them and testing them is important. Don't buy without playing it. But keyswitches depend on the software, unless I'm misunderstanding you. Do you need the drumpads? How many sliders/rotary knobs do you need? If the answer to that is "not much", also check out the Yamaha KX series - though those seem to have been phased out (perhaps they'll have something new at the next Messe, who knows). What I'm mostly disappointed about nowadays is the build quality of controllers and the feel of the keyboard. For the cheaper models it's so bad I'd rather buy a secondhand synthesizer with a good/great keyboard feel and get the knobs/sliders separately (and even then the Novation Nocturn's built so cheaply that it makes one cry). I've got a Roland XP-30 for the keys; compact, steel case, synth action beats most controllers with ease for the quality. Those go for 350, but they only have 4 sliders so you need to spend the rest on a knob/slider box. I've also got a Yamaha CS6x, but the keyboard of that isn't as good as the one on the AN1x (which just can't filter its aftertouch out, which makes it less than ideal as a controller). It's also bulkier than the XP. For me, the feel of the keyboard is the most important. No amount of sliders, pads or knobs can fix that, and it's the thing you'll be dealing with every day. Don't skimp on it; and if that means buying an older synthesizer because of the superior build quality, $30 on a 1x1 USB MIDI interface gets you up and running.
  22. Apart from the fact that it's a pretty played out effect (really, this was already common in 1992), the old-fashioned way of gating stuff was done by taking a so-called gate (it "opens" when the incoming signal is at a sufficient level), and putting a drum machine's hihat pattern in the sidechain input. That way, you would't hear the actual drum machine, but the sidechain would make the gate think that the level was sufficient. See The advantage is that you can just use the step-sequencer for drawing the pattern instead of having to duplicate all the automation all the time. The difference between a gate and drawing it as a pattern is that you can use volume/filter sweeps without automation. The gate won't influence these. In a way, it may be easier. This is what your automation should look like. Click the magnet icon, choose 1/2 step, and draw a pattern like this. then the default preset from Sytrus will sound like this: http://www.theheartcore.com/patch/trancegate_automated.mp3 Read: http://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=29283 Nothing is frowned upon. At least, not on the dancefloor. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oupKpPJOHBw < hear that sound at 1:23? That was ripped pretty much straight from a Vengeance sample CD (and since by buying the CD you get the right to use the contents for music production, that's not even a problem). See Is there anything wrong with loops? Well, the following: 1) If you can use them, why bother to improve your own skills? 2) If you don't bother to improve yourself, you become dependent on the loops. 3) You and a thousand others have access to the same material. What if you're beaten to the punch? Great, so your new track's hook depends on such a sample. Then someone else uses it, releases it, and now you're the follower instead of the leader. http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=synthesizer+boot+camp&aq=f Synthesizer Boot Camp. 6 parts or so, bookmark 'm. Good lord, why are you inflicting this on yourself? Do yourself a favor. Buy a book. Do a workshop. Anything is better than begging your knowledge together by trawling for scraps - misguided ones, even. Distrust clever one-liners like "use compression for foo bar quux". They're not nuggets of wisdom; they're nuggets of crap, unless you learn the context behind such a one-liner. Then you'll find out that it might've helped out person X when he was doing Y in a completely different situation. Learn what your plugins do. If that takes 2 weeks without internet and it'll feel like banging your head against the wall, so be it; but you will find out what's what by listening, observing and systematically experimenting; and you'll be better off for it. That means "lol go turn some random knobs dude" is the shittiest advice you can possibly get. Turn one of 'm; all of 'm do something. If one of 'm doesn't appear to do something, it's because of another setting. For instance, filter cutoff will not do anything if you disable the filter. It will also not do anything if you have the filter envelope amount set to max and the envelope's Attack/Release both set to 0 and the Decay/Sustain both set to max (can't push the cutoff slider up higher if it's already at the top). Envelopes and LFOs are little robots that turn knobs for you. They react at specific commands. The only difference is that an LFO keeps doing it, sometimes regardless of when you play, and an envelope will do something when you press/release the keys.
  23. Only if you slavishly follow the rules . I personally think the book is actually not as bad as the thousands of people asking "lol guys how do i make stuff sound like daft punk/justice/deadmau5".
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